Kitchn Love Letters

These 2-Ingredient Zucchini Fritters Are My Forever Favorite Lunch

updated Jul 16, 2020
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Credit: Sheela Prakash

For years, vegetable fritters vexed me. I loved the idea of them — a bunch of fresh veggies packaged up into golden pan-fried patties, ready to be eaten for lunch, dinner, or even breakfast. But after cooking my way through countless recipes, I just couldn’t find one that pleased me. Either the fritters would fall apart, or they’d never achieve the crisp crust I pined for.

Finally, a couple years ago, I came upon my dream recipe without even trying, and realized the problem with most veggie fritters is that they’re far too complicated. You really only need two ingredients to make the very best ones: vegetables and chickpea flour.

The Best (and Easiest) Zucchini Fritters, Inspired by My Favorite Indian Snack

One of my favorite Indian snacks are pakoras, deep-fried fritters often made with vegetables like onion, spinach, or potato and mixed with spices and a chickpea flour batter. One day I was in the mood for pakoras but didn’t want to deep-fry them, so I formed them into patties and pan-fried them instead. The result was exactly the kind of veggie fritter I’d long been searching for: shatteringly crisp and golden-brown on the outside and practically creamy on the inside. While they’re great made with carrots, corn, broccoli, and even sweet potatoes, I find I make them with zucchini the most.

Vegetable fritters are often bound with flour and eggs, but here it’s magical chickpea flour, which becomes a sticky batter when mixed with water. Plus, chickpea flour makes these fritters gluten-free, vegan, and rich in plant-based protein. Serve them warm, room temperature, or even cold, and always paired with a sauce — a dollop of hummus or Greek yogurt or a drizzle of tahini sauce, chimichurri, pesto, or romesco. Eat as is, or sandwich them between two slices of bread, pile them on top of greens or thick slices of tomato, or top them with a fried egg.

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn

How to Make 2-Ingredient Zucchini Fritters

You need just two things to make these fritters: a couple of zucchini and some chickpea flour. Since zucchini holds so much water, you’ll want to drain it before using. Grate it on the largest holes of a box grater until you get two packed cups, dump into a colander set over a bowl, toss with a big pinch of kosher salt, and let sit for 10 minutes. Then, press down with your hands or a wooden spoon to push out some of the liquid, wrap in a clean kitchen towel, and squeeze out as much water as you can to get it as dry as possible. This amount of zucchini will yield enough for four 3-inch fritters.

Next, place the drained zucchini in a large bowl and add 1/2 cup chickpea flour, a generous pinch of kosher salt, and several grinds freshly ground black pepper. If you’re up for adding a third or forth ingredient, here’s your chance. You could sprinkle in spices like smoked paprika, za’atar, or Italian seasoning; add minced garlic, lemon zest, finely grated Parmesan cheese or crumbled feta; or stir in fresh chopped herbs like dill or thyme. It’s hard to go wrong, so have fun making them your own.

Drizzle two tablespoons water into the mix and use a fork or wooden spoon to combine. The batter should be sticky but not overly wet and runny (you should be able to form a patty in your hands that holds together). If it’s too dry, add a little more water; if it’s too wet, add a little more flour.

You’ll then heat a generous drizzle of olive or vegetable oil in a large skillet (preferably cast iron or nonstick, over medium-high heat, then drop 1/4 cup of batter into the pan, flattening it slightly with a flat spatula, and continuing to drop more batter, leaving a couple of inches between each fritter. You’ll fry them until golden-brown on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes, then flip and fry until browned on the other side and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes more. Drain the fritters on a paper towel-lined plate and repeat with remaining batter, if you have any.

At Kitchn, our editors develop and debut brand-new recipes on the site every single week. But at home, we also have our own tried-and-true dishes that we make over and over again — because quite simply? We love them. Kitchn Love Letters is a series that shares our favorite, over-and-over recipes.